September 2011

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Joyce Carol Oates, who was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama in 2010, will deliver the keynote address at the Second Biennial John Updike Society Conference in Boston on Tuesday, June 12, at 8 p.m. at host institution Suffolk University.

Like Updike, Oates has published in multiple genres (novel, short fiction, memoir, children’s books, plays, essays, criticism) and is considered one of the most important writers of her generation. She’s earned much praise and many awards for her fiction, including the PEN/Malamud Award and the O. Henry Prize for her achievements in short fiction, a National Book Award for her novel Them, and the 2004 Fairfax Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts.

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Jeffrey Brown, writing a Bleacher Report on “Boston Red Sox Legend Ted Williams To Be Honored by USPS with Postage Stamp,” quoted extensively from Updike’s famous account of Williams’ last game, “Hub Fans Bid Kid Adieu.”

Here’s the article link, with thanks to member Jack De Bellis for drawing our attention to it.

Radical History Review Volume 2011, Number 111, Fall 2011 features essays on the theme of “Historicizing 9/11,” and member Bob Batchelor has an essay in it titled “Literary Lions Tackle 9/11: Updike and DeLillo Depicting History through the Novel.” You can access it and get a free full-text download here. In his essay, Batchelor considers how Updike’s “on-the-scene reporting gave his words added consequence,” with his “description of the horror and of his personal response” providing readers with “an additional tool to process the events.”